What started out being a great day ended up being one of the worst ones of our lives. Our sixteen-year-old daughter, Emma, is missing.
We went to church today, just as we did every Sunday. Myself, my husband, Paul, and our two children, 16-year-old Emma Grace, and our 10-year-old son, Gilberto Emmanuel. We had a wonderful time of it. Then, when we went to call Emma to come join us (she had run off with her friends to go to the youth service at the gymnasium), she was nowhere to be found. None of her friends knew where she had gone off to and Gilberto had no idea where she was: he hadn't seen her since she bounced off with her friends prior to the service.
It is now four o'clock and Emma is still missing. Whoever thought that a child (or in this case, teenager) would end up disappearing, especially at a church of all things! The only things of hers that were found was her purse and a shoe.
The senior pastor of our church tried to be reassuring, as did the stafff and other members of our church family. They consoled me as best as they possibly could, considering the gravity of the circumstances: they tried to encourage my scared spirit and prayed for me, in the hopes that Emma would (will) be found. A tiny, older woman named Micki was especially sweet; she stuck by my side as the fear in my heart mounted, never leaving me for a minute.
The police have since been called; they are now combing the area around the church grounds, in the hopes that Emma will be found (hopefully safe and alive). All too often, we had heard of missing child cases; some ended happily, but more often than not, they ended up being unsolved or tragic. The thought of something happening to our sweet, pink-faced, blonde-haired daughter, now a svelte, beautiful teenager with a tinkling laugh and a gung-ho attitude about life, was something that we could not even begin to bear!
Paul and I are trying to be positive, crying out to God about Emma, but each hour that ticks by only makes us more anxious. We don't know what will happen to Emma, or if she will ever be found (or if we find out who took her), but we are trying to trust in God and believing in a miracle that Emma will be found, safe and unharmed.
Just keep us in your prayers; we could really use a major miracle! This is the worst possible thing that could have ever happened to us! We have seen it happen so many times to other families; it suddenly takes on a whole new meaning when something like this hits your own family right between the eyes!
~To be continued.~